I love coffee cake. There's something about the buttery, bready confection that is addictive. Left unchecked, I'm pretty sure I can consume an entire cake in one go. To prevent that from happening with these beautifully flaky, buttery cinnamon cardamom coffee rings, I made them into mini-rings.
I gave a bunch to friends, but before I could package them, my husband managed to consume two of them while on a conference call. (The call was on mute so his fellow callers didn't hear any munching on the call.)
Cinnamon is the classic coffee cake flavor, and in this recipe, it works really well.The darker coffee cakes are the cinnamon ones, and the lighter ones are cardamom.
The cardamom flavor is more unique and equally delicious. I grew up eating cardamom toast. The way we made cardamom toast in our home was to first slice and toast a piece of a baguette. Once it came out of the toaster we would slather it with butter, and finally top it with a mixture of granulated sugar and ground cardamom. Even though I always wanted to eat it right away, my mom would place it on a cooling rack, and we'd eat it only once the toast was completely dry and crunchy. We'd eat the toast by dunking it in a glass of cold milk (my parents would dip it in their tea). My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
Other than these cinnamon and cardamom coffee cake rings being delectable, they also look intricate and fancy. To be honest, these coffee cakes are super easy to put together. Here's what I did:
1 – Roll the dough into an 11 inch by 7 inch rectangle.
2 – Spread butter all over the dough. Then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or cardamom sugar.
3 – Roll the dough starting at one of the long sides.
4 – With seam side down, using a pair of kitchen shears, cut the role in half lengthwise. Leave the last 1/2 inch of the roll attached.
5 – Using the two pieces you cut, twist the pieces together.
6 – Finally form the dough into a ring.
My daughter loved eating pieces of the cake by peeling off each sugary, flaky layer. My husband just devoured them in a few bites, and I savored each bite with a warm cup of tea once all the kids were in bed.
Cinnamon and Cardamom Coffee Cake Rings
This recipe is adapted from Just Love Cookin'
Ingredients for the dough
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs warm milk (about 105 to 110 degrees)
1/8 cup melted, unsalted butter, cooled
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 egg yolk
1 tbs granulated sugar
Ingredients for the filling
1/4 cup softened, unsalted butter
5 tbs granulated sugar
3 tsp ground cinnamon or 2 tbs ground cardamom
Instructions for the dough
In a large bowl, mix the yeast, sugar, and warm milk. Allow the mixture to rest for a few minutes. It should bubble and foam a bit.
Add the egg, butter, flour, and salt. Mix until combined. Then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until it's nice and smooth. This should take only 4 to 5 minutes.
Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover tightly, and place the bowl in a warm place. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in volume (about 1 hour).
As the dough rises, mix the filling ingredients. Mix the sugar and powdered cinnamon or cardamom in a small bowl. Have the softened butter ready in a bowl.
Pre-heat the oven for 400 degrees F.
Once the dough has doubled in volume, lightly flour your work surface. Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Following the instructions above, form and shape the rings.
Transfer the rings to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush melted butter on the outside of the pastry, and sprinkle with additional cinnamon or cardamom sugar.
Bake for about 5 to 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 F. Bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Yields 4 coffee cake rings.
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